This 15-Minute Cleaning Method Will Make Your Bathroom Sparkle

To clean your bathroom in 15 minutes, start with the toilet and let the cleaner work while you start wiping down the other surfaces.

The Quickest And Easiest Way To Clean A Bathroom

I first learned how to clean a bathroom like a pro from an OGT reader named Denise, who wrote in to share her secrets to cleaning bathrooms efficiently, quickly, and with very little waste. (Denise had cleaned 15-20 bathrooms a week for 20 years before she retired, and if that doesn’t make her an expert on the subject, I don’t know what would!)

I was extremely impressed by the streamlined nature of her method, and when I asked if I could share it here on my blog, she kindly agreed! Once I started using Denise’s method at home, I was able to clean my bathroom thoroughly in a fraction of the time it used to take.

In this post, you’ll learn how to clean a bathroom like a pro using Denise’s tried-and-true method. Not only is it the easiest way to clean a bathroom, but it’s quick enough to include in your daily chores as frequently as you’d like to!

Bathroom cleaning can be fast and thorough at the same time.

How To Clean A Bathroom In Under 15 Minutes

You’ll need:


Start cleaning the bathroom by using a toilet bowl cleaner and bowl brush.

Step 1 – Apply Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Start by applying a toilet bowl cleaner or all-purpose cleaner to your toilet bowl.

I like to use my homemade toilet bowl cleaner here, because the baking soda and borax do an excellent job at breaking down hard water stains while essential oils leave it smelling fresh and clean. (But that’s just my preference — feel free to use whatever you’ve got on hand!)

Related: Unclog A Clogged Toilet With These Simple Hacks

After brushing the toilet bowl, leave the toilet brush over the bowl and close the seat on it so it can dry over the water.

Step 2 – Scrub The Toilet

Scrub the toilet bowl with your toilet brush, making sure to get under the rim to eliminate any grime that may have built up under there. After scrubbing, flush the toilet to rinse, then prop the brush under the toilet seat to let it dry.

(In the market for a new toilet brush? I really like this silicone toilet brush because it’s easy to clean and the upper edge gets all the way under the rim. If you’re going to splurge on a bathroom cleaning tool, this is a great one to choose!)

While your toilet cleaner works, start spraying down the other surfaces in the bathroom and dry them with a cloth or paper towel.

Step 3 – Spray Surfaces

Spray the toilet, sink, faucet, and countertop with your preferred cleaner or disinfectant and let it sit for a minute or two. Use your favorite bathroom cleaner, or consider one of these homemade options:

Clean your bathroom mirror and sink with a damp microfiber cloth.

Step 4 – Wipe With A Damp Cloth

While the bathroom cleaner is working its magic, dampen a clean microfiber cloth and use it to wipe down your bathroom mirror (no need for glass cleaner!) Next, use the damp cloth to wipe off the countertop, sink, and faucet.

Related: How To Clean A Microfiber Cloth

After wiping down the bathroom surfaces with a damp cloth, use a paper towel or a fresh cloth to dry them off.

Step 5 – Dry With A Dry Cloth (Or Paper Towel)

Use a few paper towels or a clean, dry microfiber cloth to dry off the mirror, countertop, faucet, sink, and toilet, in that order. (This order goes from cleanest to dirtiest, which saves you money on paper towels).

Use a final clean towel to buff a shine on your mirror and faucet. Throw away the paper towels (or put the dirty rag in your hamper) and put the toilet brush away.

You can clean your bathroom in about 15 minutes with just two cloths and three or four paper towels.

Finishing Touches

Rinse the microfiber cloth thoroughly and wring it out one more time. Use the cleaning rag to spot-clean the floor as necessary or wipe up any hair, dust, or dirt hanging around. Don’t worry about deep-scrubbing the grout with a specialized tile cleaner. This is just a quick clean that keeps your bathroom looking fresh and presentable.

Toss the dirty rags into your hamper or washer, and you’re done!

After you've wiped down all the surfaces and dried them, toss paper towels in the trash (if you've used any).

I’m telling you — Denise has got this whole thing down to a science! I’m grateful to her for sharing her wisdom and experience with all of us! :-)

That damp cloth you used on the surfaces comes in handy to spot clean the floor as your last step in cleaning the bathroom.

What About The Tub And Shower?

  • This quick and easy bathroom cleaning method doesn’t solve cleaning the bathtub or shower, so here are some quick tips to help you keep those clean too!
  • Keep an old towel in your bathroom and use it to dry your shower walls after each use. It only takes a minute, and it will help keep water spots and soap scum at bay.
  • Alternatively, you can spray this homemade daily shower cleaner on your glass shower doors after each use (no need to wipe it down!)

How long does it typically take you to clean your bathroom?

Read This Next

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • My shower doors are all white and foggy. I’ve tried everything I can think of to get them transparent again, with no success. I’ve used Mean Green, cleaning vinegar and let them sit, etc. I’ve used microfiber cloths and plastic scrubbers. How can I get them clean again?

    • Hard water stains can etch the glass over time, in which case the white haze will be permanent. You can try lightly scrubbing the glass with dawn/vinegar mixture and #0000 steel wool. (Make sure it’s 0000.) If after that the glass feels smooth or pitted it is probably etched.

  • I have hard water at my old place and for the shower taps I use my stainless steel wool to remove the hard water build up.

    When the plumber changed my tub years back before he put the taps back I brought them in the kitchen used my stainless steel wool and brought it back to him to reinstall and he said “how did u get it to shine like that so quick” with my stainless steel wool that I use on my stainless steel pots! He was pretty impressed, and that comes from a plumber’s mouth. I use that method directly in the tub since. Did not have to buy new taps.

  • If you have ever used the streak free microfiber cloth you are missing out. It leaves mirrors and windows complete streak free. Give it a try.
    Streak Free microfiber cloth. It’s amazing

  • As much as I hate to clean my toilets, I even hate letting then get nasty. So I welcome this diy hack, for getting my bathrooms clean from top to bottom within 15 minutes. Thanks!

  • I use this method somewhat a few times a week or to refresh when company may be coming. One thing I do differently is I spray the outside of the toilet with cleaning spray, also toilet cleaner in the bowl & wipe down the outside before doing the bowl & putting the brush under the rim to drip dry before putting away. I do the bowl last because then I don’t have to go back to it. Also, the cleaner can sit in the bowl longer. Then I do the mirror and sink, and I’m done.

  • I have granite counter tops. so cannot use a vinegar product nor commercial cleaners like 409 etc. I use Jillee’s suggestion of alcohol and a bit of Dawn. The sealer needs to be re-applied when a towel no longer glides across drag free .
    Gotta check out that brush on Amazon!
    Our shower is solid surface like in our RV. We squeege walls and glass and towel dry after each use

    • Up to you Rita but I don’t recommend that brush at all. I intentionally bought the version in the short, open holder because I was fairly sure the one used here (with the ‘lid’ attached) would be less easily used in the bowl. Even my one without that lid isn’t great, the shaft clacks against the bowl however hard I try to avoid that. I squirted Fairy (Dawn) washing liquid round the bowl and this brush was hopeless at creating any lather or even making contact with most of the liquid so no idea how it’s supposed to clean the bowl. I get that the silicone style is hygienic and easy to dry and the brush is certainly aesthetically pleasing but in my opinion it’s difficult to get the ‘bristles’ to go everywhere you’d want them to and it’s not fit for purpose. Mine went in the bin and I reverted to my very ‘bushy’ traditional toilet brush. I plan to research the silicone versions of it because I think it’s the fact this brush is flat that’s the issue. How can you clean a curved bowl with a flat brush, the design just doesn’t enable maximum contact with the bowl!

  • I use Norwex Microfiber cloths with BacLock for cleaning. No more chemicals in this house. It cuts cleaning time in half. You may want to check out Norwex products. They are on the spendy side but well worth it.

  • When your shower is done and you’re standing in the tub,dry the walls with a”‘sponge cloth” they sell these on Amazon.This will keep your tile from staying wet and getting moldy. Also when cleaning,spray down tile and tub and let sit while you do the other things.

  • I love your micro fiber clothes for my face! But I would love if you would make a different color for cleaning. I do not want to use the same clothes for my face and the bathroom. The current colors are great for my face, could we have some other colors for the cleaning? I have other brands of clothes that I use, but I have none that are the great size of yours. I love your site and use it every day.

  • What about cleaning the toilet, floor, bathtub/shower stall, shelves, etc.? I would say that this method is fine but not for a deep clean which is what I like to do once a week. It takes a lot longer to clean everything:)

  • as a housekeeper for a large hotel chain in london ,we had to be efficent and time concious.
    so i always told my staff when you enter a room/bathhroom work clockwise. that way you was sure nothing was missed.

  • I have been using a clear bladed squeegee on my shower walls. It takes just an added couple minutes to squeegee the shower curtain and walls and floor and I get a few deep knee bends in while I’m at it. Keeps it free of mildew and water spots longer. But I suppose it wouldn’t be too effective on tiled surfaces with grout lines.

  • I am always looking for a shortcut while cleaning! I tried your method. After reading through your post and the comments I am curious as to how often you do this 15 minute speed cleaning of your bathrooms.The best way to keep the bathroom picked up is to make it a habit of putting things away when you are done using it. Love your website! Thanks for all the streamlined tips and directions.

    • Hi. I actually do use this 15 minute method about 5 times a week and then do a deep cleaning once a week. So glad you enjoy my tips and directions!

  • I take my old towels aand cut them up to us as cleaning clothes. They work great and a food way to use them once they aren’t fit to hang anymore. I hang them to dry and then wash them with bleach when I have a load. I can cut into any size I want! Great for all sorts of cleaning. My hubby grabs the really stained or worn ones for his shop!

  • I love your idea about using lemon-scented vinegar as a disinfectant when cleaning your sink. I’m going to go home and make some with vodka and essential oil. I think these will work well together to clean my bathroom. I’m so glad that I read this blog, it really has helped me out so much!

  • Microfiber poses a problem as in washing, plus when it ends up in our water sources. Just a thought. Fish can not digest the fibers … long term it could be a real problem.

  • Great tips, thank you!

    Here’s one I learned while working as a hotel maid that helps keep things clean: pledge spray!
    When things are dry, spray pledge onto a microfiber cloth and wipe onto things that get “sticky”, such as the sink. You can do this in the toilet, too. Turn the water off using the butterfly valve, do your magic, and the two flushes you need to rinse will empty the tank. Just remember to turn the water back on. I learned that lesson early on when a guest called the front desk and maintainance had to come “fix” it.

    One MAJOR CAVEAT … do NOT do this where people stand, such as the tub. Some folks think the shower walls and doors are ok IF the floor has really good non-stick coverage, but I personally side with caution because a bathroom slip and fall can be very damaging.

  • I love the homemade cleaner. I apologize for the unsolicited advice, but I swear my 220 sand paper. Cut small pieces as needed and once it is wet, scrub the icky line that sometimes appears on toilet, the faucet and the gunk surrounding it and the sink drain. Also works on soap scum and doesn’t scratch any material!!! I also use it to get those stains of pots and pans and on anything that has rusted. It works wonders. It has never failed me. Make sure it is wet though.
    Two stain and Oder secrets now that I have shared my secret. Hydrogen peroxide is the only that can remove a blood stain completely and if you ever iron a man’s shirt and smell some BO, apply straight vodka to area and iron over again. That smell and many other will disappear forevermore.

    • I love your idea about 220 sandpaper. We have a lot of minerals in our water, and it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the toilet stains. Even Clorox only partially works. I’m going to the store today to try the sandpaper. I’m excited!

      • I do the same thing but I use ‘wall sand’ – it’s a type of woven ‘sandpaper’ for plaster and sheetrock. A little less gritty than actual sandpaper. First I do an overnight soak with diluted vinegar to soften up the deposits. Then use a piece of wall sand to remove the gunk. Super high mineral area here too and it works well. Just do it frequently enough that the mineral deposits soften easily.

      • I should add I also have two other tricks that work well by preventing hard cleaning and scrubbing in the first place – who isn’t up for that?

        I hang a jet dry basket inside the toilet tank (it’s a solid in a little white basket). It’s meant for dishwashers and hot water, but in cold water the solid releases only very tiny amounts per flush and easily lasts a year in the tank, and it’s inexpensive. (I never keep bleach or anything else in the tank, only the jet dry basket. No need for other chemicals.) The jet dry keeps minerals from sticking inside the rim and on the bowl so no hard water stains or buildup to clean. I end up with the tip above (wall sand) when we run out or people forget to spray right away!

        The other trick is I have is a shower spray that I mix up (I shared it with Jillee awhile back and she made a post on it) – I spray not just my shower and tub enclosures but also the bathroom, laundry, and kitchen sinks and faucets after every use (or when they aren’t expected to be used again right away). 1/2 cup peroxide, 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 tablespoon liquid jet dry, 1 teaspoon dish liquid (preferably NON-grease cutting dye-free like Ivory Clear – this is one application Dawn is not an advantage). Add to 24 oz distilled water to make approximately 32 oz. This is not only a great after-shower spray but it works wonders on all the sinks and faucets too. Keeps minerals and soap scum from sticking and that means less scrubbing.

        Been doing these for 40+ years and have never had need of a water softener for the house.

  • I put an old sock on a swiffer broom and leave it in the corner behind the door. Do a quick sweep every day to eliminate adn hair and dust on the floor.

  • I clean with either old rags that I keep just for cleaning..bought some at Sam’s terry cloth and use those also,I clean 2 toilets once a week, (just me here ) if I have company they are cleaned before and after company…. I hang up in laundry room to dry and put in separate container for washing later, wash with hot water and clorox, dry and folded and ready to use until they all are dirty…Occasionally I have used paper towels to dry off the toilet, but I prefer to clean with a rag or cloth….don’t see how you can clean good with paper towels….I clean windows with microfiber cloths bought from QVC, they have no lint…. my bathroom sink is cleaned with one rag, another rag for the toilet, and one to dry it…..I don’t necessary clean the mirror too, as I clean them all week as I see they need it…and it with the microfiber cloths ….I don’t have filthy cleaning to do…..I just like to do it weekly…and I don’t have to clean up daily after boys or men…..been there done that…..:) and it did require more cleaning …….(That is the way I clean.)…..P.S. the microfiber cloths are great for dusting…..the dust sticks to the cloth and not spread around the room, and they are wonderful for tv screens, windows of any kind and dusting furniture…..I do keep 2 in shower to dry shower down every day, and Jillee is right it does cut down on having to scrub shower every week… probably take 2 mins to dry down the shower…..

  • instead of any paper towels go to Costco or similar and get a pack of terry shop towels and use those for cleaning they last for years.

    I use them all over the house. when they are dirty was a load in hot water. I never use paper towel for cleaning

    just a thought :-)

  • I have 3 males in my home, 4 in the summer and our toilet is gross by the end of the day. I have to scrub clean it every day or it takes forever to clean it once a week. I got so irritated that I stuck a sign above the toilet at eye level that said “Step closer, you are not that much of a man”. It didn’t help. Maybe if I let them use froot loops for target practice like when they were little kid’s that would help.

    • If you flush the toilet after scrubbing, and rinse the brush in the “new” water, it should be clean enough to put away (once it has dried.) Maybe that part wasn’t really clear.

  • Thanks Jillee! This is great advice — so simple and so logical. I felt like slapping my forehead and going ‘DUH.” Keep those tips coming! I am a new homemaker at 60, just now learning to cook and clean if you can believe it. I look forward to all your emails. I learn so much about housekeeping and cleaning.

  • I was Supervisor to a cleaning company and I used to check out houses for the British Military when people were posted. It was my say so if a house was fit to live in! I answered to an Officer that had houses checked with mirrors on sticks; think selfie stick, (used to search out bombs), at the back and under: sinks, toilets, baths, and cookers! Not to mention white gloves. Nightmares!
    My tip is to ‘pump’ the water out of the toilet bowl below the water line. Any cleaner can then be put on the ceramic without being diluted. Sadly we HAD to use heavy chemicals due to the way some people live. Personally, I’m a firm believer in no paper towels and I use coloured face flannels which last longer. Each colour can represent the day (Monday Tuesday etc) and can be left to dry before going in a collected laundry wash at the end of the week.
    Hope this helps. Love from the UK!

      • I also like magic erasers, however they seem to break down pretty quickly. Any advice?? Thanks

      • I cut up magic erasers into 6-10 tiny sponges. They seem to go a lot further this way! :-)

  • love you site and helpful hints…most ive never heard of ….so thank you for all your work….I do not think you put up too many helpful hints either….so keep them coming….thanks so much

  • Dear Jillee- I have a bathroom problem. I really need advice on what to do. This is my problem….. I have a water pik with a long cord to plug it in. I also have a electric / powered toothbrush. Again a very long power cord to plug in. This is my problem. I live in assisted living. I have a really nice sized bathroom ( obviously built if a wheelchair iis used ). The problem is the sink in the bathroom. I have one outlet on the wall ( THIS IS A PROBLEM ), I do not have any other outlets in my bathroom. I was thinking about finding a command hook that would hold a shelf ( probably 2 command hooks ). Or something else , like a basket a command hook would hold. Do you have any other ideas for holding the cords?

    • I would definitely use command hooks! If you get ones that are a little bit bigger, then you can wrap the extra length of cord in a loop and hook that around the hook :-)

  • Hi Jille

    We rinse our shower very well with cold water, then we squeegee it dry with a California car blade which we leave in the shower. I dry myself in the shower and then use the towel to wipe the water off the faucets and rim of door so they remain spotless and always clean. We have been doing this for 25 years ans we never had mold as it wont grow if its not wet and warm. This keeps her shower at its best. I bought face cloth in big packs at Costco and we use them to wipe down or sink area every morning and then throw them in the wash so our bathroom counter is always clean. We do the mirror first then the counter than the sink. This only takes a moment and our bathroom always looking clean. My cleaning times are very fast in the bathroom.

  • We’ve been doing that shower tip for years at our house. When everyone was at home, the last person to use it was expected to do this. Now it’s just me using the shower in the main bathroom. We also use the squeegee on the shower doors. I stilll live at home- for financial reasons. Mom uses the tub.

    • Once I’ve cleaned the shower with the ‘hot’ solution, I use the rest of the solution cold over the next several weeks to maintain the clean shower. I also only make half a batch at a time so that I’m using hot vinegar solution every two months. This cleaner also works great for any deep cleaning on greasy or very dirty areas, like the stove hood or to of the refrigerator. Just remember that a little goes a long way!

  • Your microfiber cloths will clean and prevent water spots on the shower doors. They also clean and polis a mirror while dry. I use them to polish the faucets and sink as well. I get the huge pack at Costco. If you buy the toilet brush that has a snap on scour pad, you always have a germ free brush you never have to let dry. Just scrub the toilet and what else with the pads, then dispose of them. Done and sanitary

  • Thanks for the tips on keeping the bathroom clean everyday. I always use a squeegee and then a hand towel to dry the shower and glass doors and never have soap scum build up.

  • Instead of using a towel on shower walls after showering, use a small squeegee. They work amazingly well. My mom always had one hanging in the bathtub/shower and we were expected to use it every time we showered. It kept the walls and glass doors free from water spots. My kids always thought it was fun to do!

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